Three years after Hear the Wind Sing, in 1973, the narrator has moved to Tokyo to work as a translator and live with indistinguishable twin girls, but the Rat has remained behind despite his efforts to leave both the town and his girlfriend.
The narrator finds himself haunted by memories of his own doomed relationship but also, more bizarrely, by his short-lived obsession with playing pinball in J's Bar. This sends him on a quest to find the exact model of pinball machine he had enjoyed playing years earlier: the three-flipper Spaceship.
©2015 Haruki Murakami (P)2015 Random House Audio
"Which other author can remind you simultaneously of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and JK Rowling, not merely within the same chapter but on the same page?" (Independent)
Every paragraph in this very early novel, from a favourite author of mine, "flashed forward" to me as I recognised elements/links/ themes to the many novels Murakami went on to write. Cats, wells, obsession, glorious lyricism and inventiveness-all restrained here, blossomed as the author gained momentum. How exciting to have this insight..and unlike another favourite author whose first novel was translated and released much later than the main body of work, this novel stands up to scrutiny. It is a gentle riff on melancholy and youth as it grasps the significance of "the future"-the perhaps.
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